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 First unread post  | 29 posts | 
by Greg Downing on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:21 pm
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I have had a couple of Canon 600mm lenses and I must say the collar is a frustrating piece of garbage. The last lens I had I had to remove the little ball bearing that was supposed to stop the lens at 90 degrees. I had to remove it partially because it was actually stopping a couple degrees short of vertical and partially because it would make the rotation stick.

This time the whole collar has locked onto the lens and will only rotate about 20 degrees in each direction - the thing is that the now very limited rotation is only when the lens is in the upside down position, making the lens unusable.

Since I am familiar (or was familiar) with the mechanics of the last lens I took this one apart hoping to remove the bearing again. So such luck - the collar will not come off (trust me I know how to remove it - it's pretty much locked onto the lens and stuck.)

Aside from this crap even when the collar is working correctly it's always got some play it is - it's basically the lowest tech mechanical system anyone could design - pure junk IMO. I certainly hope (and I am pretty sure) that this will be addressed with the new version of the Canon 600mm f4 lens. But still, for a lens that cost me as much as decent used car, one would think that the design would have been better from the beginning and that it would not take an entirely new design 10 years later to address something that I could have designed better in the back of my garage in 1985 when I was 19 years old.

I have sent my lens into CPS and will report back on the fix - though again the fix is still not expected to fully address the larger problem of faulty design from the beginning. I'll probably have to wait a year and shell out another 10 grand for that...

If the warranty does not cover this repair, after owning the lens for less than 2 years I will consider a switch to Nikon - no joke.

Off my soapbox!
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by Maxis Gamez on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:34 pm
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Get the 800 and it will be as smooth as a baby's b*** LOL!
Maxis Gamez

by Greg Downing on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:46 pm
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Maxis: If I wanted an 800 I would have purchased one a long time ago but I don't care for a 56%+ increase in subject size without the ability to go shorter. For what I shoot, and for my style, I want a 600mm lens and the flexibility to use it with a 1.4 TC if I want to shoot around 800 (840 to be exact) or the 2x for 1200mm - which is rarely needed for me. The 800 is an entirely different lens and for what I do a 600mm lens is infinitely better. ;) I just hate the collar and the way it's designed - it really really is crap and the folks that put it together should be ashamed if such crap.
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by Maxis Gamez on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:55 pm
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Greg Downing wrote:
Maxis: If I wanted an 800 I would have purchased one a long time ago but I don't care for a 56%+ increase in subject size without the ability to go shorter. For what I shoot, and for my style, I want a 600mm lens and the flexibility to use it with a 1.4 TC if I want to shoot around 800 (840 to be exact) or the 2x for 1200mm - which is rarely needed for me. The 800 is an entirely different lens and for what I do a 600mm lens is infinitely better. ;) I just hate the collar and the way it's designed - it really really is crap and the folks that put it together should be ashamed if such crap.


Nothing much you can do about it until you get the new one :wink:

Have you ever tried the 400mm DO lens?? The collar is a nightmare and a lot worse than the 600mm.
Maxis Gamez

by Greg Downing on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:04 pm
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I have - it's the same collar as the 300/2.8. At least I can take that one apart and clean it. But you're right it's not the greatest either. The main design flaw on the 600, it being such a heavy lens, is the narrow width of the collar. I know the 800 is a million times better - I just wish they had realized the error of their ways 10 years ago when they designed the thing in the beginning - the old non IS was the same before that.

There has to be a faster process for improving things on the Canon front but it's as slow as molasses and I'm just venting my frustrations. :)
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by Kevin Hall on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:06 pm
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Sounds like a need for someone to engineer a superior after-market upgrade.

by Maxis Gamez on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:07 pm
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I truly hope the new 600mm would be a lot better and you are right... Canon takes forever!!

PS: If you go to Nikon, let me know how much you want for your stuff LOL!! ;)
Maxis Gamez

by Robert Royse on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:35 pm
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I agree that the collar of the 800 is a vastly superior design to what's on the current 600, but the new 600 should have the new collar design. Back in the late 90's when the 600 was designed using a Wimberly head wasn't standard practice. At least I doubt that it was in Japan. There probably wasn't a big need to have the collar rotate smoothly when loosened slightly without any play in the designers' eyes.

I have sent my 600 in only once for the collar. It was pretty bad, but it at least turned. I used one of my CPS clean and check coupons for it and the repair bill after that wasn't too bad.

I'm not a big fan of the screw on the lens hoods. The worst repair bill I ever had from Canon was when my 300 2.8's lens hood wouldn't come off because the thread on the screw was broken. I basically had to buy a completely new hood + pay for labor.

by Scott Baxter on Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:01 pm
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Greg,
I agree with what you say. On my 500 I found the bearings by taking the foot off, not the collar. I tried taking the collar off based on something I had read on this forum and only messed things up. When I finally tried taking the foot off it exposed an opening and I found that all but one of the bearings had came loose.

by Greg Downing on Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:46 pm
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Scott - been there done that. As I said I took the bearings out of the last 600 but when I attempt that on this one there is one in there that won't come out - stuck between the collar and the lens barrel presumably. This can only be fixed by removing the lens collar but unfortunately I think it's going to have to be cut off from what I can tell....and I'm not willing to go that far when it comes to do-it-yourself :)
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by silverbowff on Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:55 pm
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I had the collar of my 600 repaired at Irvine and they replaced the bearings and it now works flawlessly. I have found however that the use of a long lens support makes for a much better support and takes the torque off the collar and that will result in a much longer bearing life without rough rotation, or a stuck collar.

Jim

by Greg Downing on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:57 pm
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James - yeah I have considered that but it should not be that you have to add an accessory (more $, more weight) to a lens like this. pita! :)
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by Chas on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:49 am
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Yup, it is poorly designed for sure! I have not had any problems the last few years using a RRS LONG LENS SUPPORT. However, as you stated it is more dollars and more weight, but alas a solution for now. Perhaps, we need to send the lens in every few years for bearing replacement ... just as we need to change the oil in our cars. Part of the game, at least until the new 600 comes our way.

We should not have to buy a replacement lens foot either!

BTW- i have found that by lifting up the front of the lens from underneath the hood when rotating all my tele lens takes care of most of the sticking problems. And, that included the older 70-200 F/2.8IS.

Chas

by Greg Downing on Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:33 pm
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Agreed Chas - however the bearing is not a bearing at all - its just a ball that stops the lens at various positions - it does not assist in making it rotate smoothly. The rest of the design is purely metal on metal. I have always lifted the lens when I rotate it but this time it does not rotate at all. It went in this am overnight at CPS expense - it will be a good test for turn-around...I need it back by Friday!!
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by Porsche917 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:43 pm
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Dear Greg:

Are the lens collars on the Nikon super telephoto lenses any better than the lens collars on the Canon 500 F4L IS USM and 600 F4L IS USM?

Best regards

Roman :-)

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:07 pm
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Yes, a lot better having owned both brands. They are much smoother and they don't bind. The don't, however have the click stop at the vertical and horizontal position but then Canon's, on the 600, is not in the level position being off just a hair.

by Steve Cirone on Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:37 pm
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I concur in your anger, Greg. My 500mm Canon lens collar was a joke. Should be a sealed roller bearing.

However, not difficult to prevent/fix the binding & wear: I either removed the lens strap mounts or the foot (can't remember) and I was peering directly into a hole that enabled a good oiling of the bearing surface.

Any time I felt sticking I simply re oiled the collar hole and took a lap around the lens with the collar, keeping the hole full of a little oil. Keep the hole on the top of the lens and let gravity pull in the oil while you roll the lens.
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by ChrisRoss on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:50 am
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The old Canon FD lens had a better design. The front part of the lens including the foot was fixed and the tube containing the aperture diaphragm from the lens foot back to the camera rotated along with the camera, much less weight on the bearings that way. I have one of these and still use it with an adapter and my 1DMkIIn and it is currently about 25 years old, I bought it second hand in 1995 and it was used professionally prior to that.
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by pleverington on Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:39 am
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My 600 needed the same treatment Greg. It wasn't locking up but it sure had a lot of slop in it. If your a platinum member by the way you will be seeing some very good service. On my lens I got a new metal cylinder housing in that area that includes the mount for the ring, and then a new ring, and a new foot. I also needed a new mounting barrel assembly at the camera end(which now prevents that infuriating disconnect problem especially with a 1.4X mounted), focusing ring,that ring with the nobs, and all other barrel metal you see when looking at the outside except for one minor piece and the lens hood, then they cleaned and benched it. The lens looks like a brand new lens except for the hood and performs the same.

I got all that for under 400 dollars as a platinum member and got it back 3 days later!!! Wow!! I was impressed. Who knows how you'll make out, but from my experience the telephone support and repair turnaround, free overnight shipping, and heavy discounts on repairs, make purchasing the top tier CPS membership a no-brainer.

Or have some really fantastic insurance. But you still don't get the preferential treatment and repair priority, free shipping, and not to be under appreciated knowledgeable telephone support for anything you might want to know.

I think you'll see your lens before friday(if your platinum)but who knows till it's back home. Good luck!

Paul
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by Greg Downing on Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:28 pm
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Hey Paul - I am both a Platinum member and have great insurance. The lens is being worked on by them as we type. I should have it back by Friday - cost me $67! I'll let you know how it turns out but so far I have been super impressed!
Greg Downing
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